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Top Schools for Science, Technology, and Society Programs

Learn about programs in science, technology and society, which focus on how scientific and technological advancements affect the social order. Find out what four universities have to offer in terms of study options and rankings, as well as what's unique to other schools with programs in this specialized field of study.

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Science, technology and society programs are interdisciplinary in nature, focusing on the ways in which science and technology shape cultures, values and institutions. Students can pursue bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in this field.

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School Information

Four of the top schools for science, technology and society programs include Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, the University of California in Davis and Cornell University.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY

School Highlight: Rensselaer is the oldest technical university in the country.

In 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 39th among national universities. The school also made The Princeton Review's list of colleges with best career placement.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Science, Technology and Society through its Science and Technology Studies department. Once enrolled, undergraduates in the B.S. program are encouraged to pursue a minor in a technical area of study, such as those offered by the management, science, architecture or engineering schools. Students interested in attending law or medical school might also want to look into the university's dual degree option.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, VA

School Highlight: The largest research university in Virginia is home of the Department of Science and Technology in Society.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, also known as Virginia Tech, ranked 27th on U.S. News & World Report's list of the top public schools for 2017. In the same year, the university also appeared on The Princeton Review's list of best southeastern colleges.

The Department of Science and Technology in Society offers an undergraduate program in humanities, science and environment among others. Graduate programs lead to a Master of Science (M.S.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Science, Technology and Society. Students in the master's program can choose from one of four areas of concentration: science and technology, history of science and technology, social studies or philosophy.

University of California in Davis

School Highlight: The STS Club provides students from different programs with the opportunity to interact with one another.

In 2017, the University of California in Davis ranked as one of the top ten public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The Princeton Review also included the university on its list of top green colleges.

At the university, students can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Science and Technology Studies. Through the program, undergraduates take courses from two different modules, including those focused on cultural studies, ethics, philosophy or medicine.

Cornell University in Ithaca, NY

School Highlight: The program is designed for students interested in careers in law, management or public policy.

Cornell's Department of Science & Technology Studies offers a Science & Technology Studies Major. The major is highly interdisciplinary, including studies in politics, ethics, sociology, history and the law. Students who want to get independent research experience in the field can apply to the Honors program. For 2017, Cornell was ranked #15 among national universities by U.S. News & World Report.

Top Schools for Science, Technology and Society Programs

Here are some more great schools with offerings in this field of study:

  • Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, offers B.A.,M.A.,M.S. in Science, Technology and Society programs.
  • Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA publishes the Science, Technology & Society Curriculum Newsletter.
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA, offers a double major through the science and engineering schools.
  • Stanford University in Stanford, CA, offers both a B.A. and B.S. in Science, Technology and Society.
  • At the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, students complete a 20-page research paper as part of a capstone project.
  • The University of Virginia in Charlottesville offers their program through the school of engineering.

Undergraduate and graduate students who want to pursue interdisciplinary studies in science, technology and society can find relevant training programs at some of the nation's top universities.

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